The Henderson County Department of Public Health and Council on Aging partner on “Prep on Wheels” Emergency Preparedness Kits for High-Risk Homebound Seniors
Hendersonville, NC, October 1, 2015 – The Henderson County Department of Public Health was selected as a Bright Ideas $10,000 grant recipient from the NC Public Health Preparedness Branch. With the funding, the health department partnered with the Council on Aging for Henderson County to provide 175 senior emergency kits for the highest risk homebound clients. For the Prep on Wheels project, a backpack with emergency supplies was assembled and is being distributed by the Meals On Wheels volunteers. Supplies include flashlight, AM/FM radio, fleece blanket, emergency water and food, first aid kit, hand/foot warmers and sanitation items. Seniors are encouraged to add personal items like medications, phone numbers, and important papers.
“We wanted the kits to be senior friendly, by choosing items that they were familiar with and easy to use,” said Terri Arrington, preparedness coordinator. “For example, the radio is battery operated with only a few functions. Newer emergency radios are hand cranked and can be difficult to work for those with limited physical abilities.”
In anticipation of Hurricane Joaquin and forecasted flooding and power outages, Council on Aging Meals on Wheels volunteers began distributing the kits to high-risk clients on their routes this morning. Shortly after routes began the Council received a call from client Johnny Sams who said “I’m 70 years old and this is more than anyone has ever given me and I really appreciate everything in the bag.”
“During inclement weather we worry a great deal about the safety of our clients. These kits will provide reassurance to many seniors who endure these types of storms all alone.” said Trina Stokes, Executive Director at the Council on Aging. “We rest easier knowing they have a working flashlight, an AM/FM radio to keep them updated on changing conditions, and spare food and water if they were to run out.”
Annette Buckner, Nutrition Director at the Council on Aging said “Distribution will continue through tomorrow and the remainder of the season in preparation for winter storms as well.”
For more information about Prep on Wheels and emergency preparedness, visit www.hendersoncountync.org/health and click on Public Health Preparedness.